After the epic discussion last week about starting theatre companies and taking the world of regional theaters by storm. Subverting the system to find freedom in our work, going out on limbs and taking great risk for great reward, I was feeling pretty jazzed and ready to go start a theatre company of my own. So, as I am want to do I took a jaunt to the New York Times website to do some digging on up and coming theater companies. Who would have guessed that there’d be a headline dedicated to this topic!
The MMC theatre company in New York City was what the article referred to. MMC was becoming frustrated by their own limitations both spatially and in terms of their season whose tight constraints they were finding suffocating. In response they’ve formed a new project that involves remaking themselves, literally. MMC is on the move! Constructing and new mainstage and and blackbox theatre dedicated to producing a greater amount of new work by professional playwrights as well as high school student writers. In looking at innovative companies, MMC saw a problem, their season didn’t allow for flexibility and they wanted more new work, and made a bold move to fix it.
Now, another topic that came up during our discussion, was money; that artistic impediment we love to hate. However, it may interest you all to know that MMC received $19.5 MILLION in bonds towards their $25 million project from the Department of Cultural Affairs of New York. There have been others as well- The Signature Theatre company- 27.5 million towards a 70 million dollar project and the list goes on. These companies are finding ways to push the theatre forward be it through producing more new work, or getting secondary level students involved in producing, playwrighting and acting. These companies have been making bold efforts to increase the importance of theatre in people’s lives and, in doing so, increasing their own quality of image. If they can do it we not us as well, we have vision, inspiration, talent, and there clearly is funding out there. Company anyone?